Milan's Duomo bids for Unesco award

Milan’s Duomo (cathedral) has formally applied for the prestigious Unesco World Heritage label.

Announcing the move, Angelo Caloia, chairman of the Veneranda Fabbrica institute which has managed the Duomo’s construction and maintenance since 1387, revealed that a Unesco representative had recently spent two days visiting the cathedral.  “We were given precise and detailed instructions on how to draw up the application,” he added.

The request covers not only the splendid landmark in the city centre, but the whole “cathedral system”, from the Lago Maggiore quarries supplying the stone and marble to the transport of this material to Milan, which until recently was carried out by canal, to the museum and crypt, he added.  “A whole, complex system which represents a living organism for over seven centuries.”

In an interview with Corriere della Sera daily, Caloia was careful not to be over-enthusiastic about the chances.  “We have to be realistic,” he said.  There is a lot of competition from emerging countries.  “But we are prepared to wait – we shall see,” he concluded.

Of the 962 Unesco World Heritage sites, 47 are in Italy, making the Belpaese the nation which already holds the most nominations, awarded for “natural conservation and preservation of cultural works”.

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